Israeli Couscous with Spinach and Garlic Cream

Israeli couscous has a larger grain than the more familiar Moroccan version. The pea-sized wheat bits can be found in many grocery stores alongside rice and is sometimes labelled as super couscous, maftoul or pearl couscous. Unlike Moroccan couscous, Israeli couscous can be prepared in the same way as pasta, by boiling in salted water or chicken stock.

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Passover Chicken Soup with Garlic and Eggs

During Passover, chicken soup plays a starring role in the festivities. It is usually served with matzo balls, but last year I served this unusual version, which is my friend Marilyn Mandel's family recipe and has its roots in Russia. The taste of the garlic completely mellows in cooking and the soup ultimately has a sharp, sweet quality.

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Basic Chicken Stock

For the best stock, use chicken backs and necks and add a few wings for extra flavour. (Remember to save and freeze any uncooked necks or bones from other chicken recipes; they will keep in the freezer for up to six months.) You can also throw in stalks from any kind of mushroom, which enriches the flavour. To keep your stock light in colour, use uncooked chicken on the bone; stock made from cooked chicken (such as a roasted chicken carcass) will be deeper in colour.

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Pork Finished with a Shower of Clams

Pork with clams is a Portuguese staple. This dish is a more upmarket rendering than others. We used pork loin (try to get the end piece as it has a bit more fat). We sautéed it for a few minutes, made a deep, rich sauce and finished everything by steaming pasta clams in the sauce. If pasta clams (small ones) are not easily obtainable substitute the larger ones. They take longer to open.

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